Today’s #3 video is courtesy of KRQE-TV, Albuquerque, N.M.
A young Albuquerque, N. M., woman led police in southeastern New Mexico on a dangerous high-speed chase involving a stolen RV, a hitchhiker and his dog.
Investigators said it was lucky no one got hurt.
Dash-camera video shows New Mexico State Police and Chaves County sheriff’s deputies catching up with a stolen motorhome leaving Roswell Monday morning (July 2).
The RV was taken from a trailer park in north Roswell. Police said the driver, Christina Vandergriff, 22, didn’t bother to detach the sewer line or awning before taking off.
Chaves County Sheriff Rob Coon said Vandergriff was driving “75-80 miles an hour with the awning of the motorhome still on the vehicle, swerving, not doing a very good job of driving.”
Thankfully, Coon said, northbound and southbound traffic on U. S. Highway 285 was sparse at that time. At one point the awning flew off.
“We were pursuing her at a safe enough distance, we could have got around it,” Coon explained. “But if it would have landed on the highway and another vehicle hit it or tried to avoid it, we would have had a potential of another motor vehicle accident.”
Officers didn’t know it then, but Vandergriff had picked up a hitchhiker and his dog. Coon said the hitchhiker begged her to stop and let him out, but she refused.
At one point a deputy deployed road spikes, but Vandergriff swerved to avoid them.
“A 22-year-old female, barefooted, probably had never driven anything that size, we’re real lucky she didn’t roll it and hurt her and the passenger, and the dog that the passenger had, or hit somebody head-on,” Coon said.
The RV’s owner warned police of two guns he had in the vehicle.
When Vandergriff finally crashed, the RV’s windshield blew out. She and the hitchhiker crawled out, but she took off running.
“Guns drawn, we didn’t know whether she knew the guns were there or not, whether she was capable of using them, so yeah, we approached her very carefully,” explained Coon.
A state police officer chased Vandergriff through a field where she eventually gave up.
Coon said the hitchhiker and his dog were shaken up, but they were both OK.
Vandergriff is facing a slew of charges which include stealing a vehicle, reckless driving, aggravated fleeing and kidnapping. When it was all over, she told police she was on her way to Albuquerque to pick up drugs.
A string of RV and camper break-ins in Horry County, S.C., has topped 100 incidents and left thousands of dollars in damage in its wake. Now, some businesses in Horry County fear the crimes are too much for local law enforcement to handle, according to WMBF-TV, Myrtle Beach.
Sgt. Robert Kegler, spokesman for the Horry County Police Department, says investigators were dispatched to Camper Country on South Kings Highway on March 12 following reports of a RV break-in. During the commission of the crime, investigators say two flat screen TVs and a DVD player were stolen.
Despite the criminals stealing hundreds of dollars in electronics, police say they left something else behind – nearly $5,000 worth of damage to the camper.
As police continued to investigate the March 12 incident, investigators say criminals struck Camper Country a second time on March 21. This time, however, police detail several campers were broken into. A number of flat screen TVs were taken from the campers, resulting in additional vehicle damage.
While Country Camper may be a prime target for the criminals, they’re not hesitating to pull a punch at Carolina RV, either. Manager George Cunningham says his business has also been targeted and it’s resulting in a big loss to his bottom line.
“We can’t afford to put the stuff back in right away,” Cunningham explained. “The customer comes in, looks at the unit and there’s stuff missing. It looks bad and he wants a discount or won’t buy it. It’s really hurting our business.”
Cunningham estimates at least 100 campers at area dealers have been broken into in the last six months. Despite flat screen TVs being the primary target, those responsible are also stealing stereos, amps and speakers.
The thefts in Horry County have put many RV campgrounds on high alert, including Ocean Lakes Campgrounds. Officials hope newly installed video cameras and barbed-wire fences will help keep the thieves at bay.
“(Unfortunately), the fence only keeps out the honest people. If they do want to get in, they can,” said Ocean Lakes Manager Lance Thompson.
Horry County Police are urging anyone who may have information on the thefts to contact investigators at (843) 915-TIPS.
Horry County, S.C., police and at least one RV dealer are seeking help from area residents in finding out who is responsible for dozens of electronic thefts from new recreational vehicles, according to the Myrtle Beach Sun-News.
At least 20 RVs have been burglarized this month with electronics such as large flat-panel televisions and DVD players reported stolen from the vehicles, Horry County police Sgt. Robert Kegler said. Police have seized items at the scene of some of the burglaries and are testing them for fingerprints, he said.
“It causes a lot more damage and there are a lot more high dollar items taken,” Kegler said. Residents should “be very wary if you find someone with a deal on a flat-screen TV and report it to Horry County police.”
George Cunningham with Carolina RV said he’s had 18 flat-screen TVs stolen from his business in the past month and he knows of other RV dealers in Horry County who have experienced the same type of occurrence.
Cunningham has stopped installing televisions and other electronics in his RVs for sale out of fear they will be stolen, he said.
Officers were called March 12 to Camper Country on South Kings Highway in Surfside Beach where they learned a camper had been broken into, Kegler said. Two flat-screen televisions and a DVD player were stolen, and there also was about $5,000 in damage to the camper.
Officers were called Sunday to Camper Country on Dick Pond Road in Surfside Beach for more burglaries, Kegler said. Several campers were broken into on the property at the time and electronics stolen along with thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, Kegler said.